Mariner Douglas Dean crashes the net in an attempt to score in the Palmer game on Jan. 14.  After suffering defeats in games against Palmer, Colony and Wasilla, the Mariners returned to the Kenai Peninsula and beat Soldotna in overtime on Tuesday. The Mariners play at home this weekend, hosting Bartlett for games at 7 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday.                  -Photo by Tracey Tillion

Mariner Douglas Dean crashes the net in an attempt to score in the Palmer game on Jan. 14. After suffering defeats in games against Palmer, Colony and Wasilla, the Mariners returned to the Kenai Peninsula and beat Soldotna in overtime on Tuesday. The Mariners play at home this weekend, hosting Bartlett for games at 7 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday. -Photo by Tracey Tillion

Homer hockey falls to Valley teams

Mariner hockey competed in three conference games this past weekend, facing off against Palmer on Jan. 14, Colony on Jan. 15 and Wasilla on Jan. 16. 

All three games ended in losses for Homer, but the Mariners redeemed themselves with a 3-2 win over Soldotna on Jan. 19. (See related story, page 12.)

Carlin said the Mariners had come closer than the score indicated in the losing games. 

“We are just having a difficult time finding the back of the net. Around 20 correctly tallied shots per game means we have opportunities, but we just are not putting quality rubber on or rebounding hard enough,” Carlin said. 

The Palmer game ended with a score of 5-1, with the Mariner goal coming from Dimitry Kuzmin, assisted by Tim Blakely. 

The Mariners got 20 shots at the goal in the Colony game and Jack Heimbold made an unassisted breakaway goal in the second period that ended the game at 4-1. 

Finally, Wasilla shut out the Mariners with a final score of 6-0.

The Mariners look forward to their first home game at Kevin Bell Arena in over two weeks, when they will host Bartlett for games on Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 23 at noon.

“Our team is playing better as the game progresses. We need to realize how hard we need to all work, playing our game, all game,” Carlin said. 

“We are maturing as this is a young group. These are hard lessons. We are proud of their never-give-up attitude. We are making adjustments trying to find this reset button,” he said.

Anna Frost can be reached at anna.frost@homernews.com.

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